What can I sue my employer for in Canada?

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Ever wondered what rights you have as an employee in Canada? Or perhaps you’re an employer seeking to ensure your practices align with Canadian law. This article serves to elucidate those very concerns. Here, at Rogers & Company Professional Corporation, we bring clarity to complex employment law issues, whether you’re an employer or an employee.

Understanding Your Rights and Grounds for Legal Action

Your Rights as an Employee in Canada

Canada’s employment laws are like a labyrinth. A myriad of protections lie within, safeguarded by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Some of these include:

  • Right to a discrimination-free workplace
  • Right to safe working conditions
  • Right to proper pay for work done

If these rights are violated, it’s often a cause for litigation. At Rogers & Company, we’re well-versed in guiding employees through this process.

When Can You Sue Your Employer?

There are several situations where you might sue your employer. Here are some examples:

  • Contractual breaches: If your employer fails to abide by the employment contract, you may have grounds for legal action. For instance, if you’re promised a bonus in your contract that never materializes, you might sue. Our team at Rogers & Company can help you spot potential issues in your employment contract, giving you the insight you need.
  • Statutory and regulatory non-compliance: These laws ensure balance and safety in the workplace. If your employer isn’t adhering to them, you might have a case.
  • Workplace harassment or discrimination: Everyone should feel safe at work. If that’s compromised due to harassment or discrimination, the law provides options for recourse. Our team can support you in these sensitive matters, leveraging years of experience in human rights issues.
  • Constructive and wrongful dismissal, ‘for cause’ termination, and termination package issues: These forms of dismissal could potentially lead to a lawsuit. But what do they mean?

Types of Dismissals

The jargon of employment law can be confusing. So let’s simplify it:

  • Wrongful dismissal: This happens when your employer lets you go without giving adequate notice or severance pay. For example, if you’ve been working for five years and your employer terminates your employment without notice or cause, you might have a wrongful dismissal claim.
  • Constructive dismissal: This occurs when your employer changes the fundamental terms of your employment, leading you to resign. For instance, if your employer drastically cuts your pay, you might resign and claim constructive dismissal.
  • ‘For cause’ termination: This refers to situations where your employer terminates you due to serious misconduct, like theft or violence. In these cases, your employer may not need to provide notice or severance.

Navigating the Legal Landscape

The Legal Process

  • Starting a Lawsuit: If you’re looking to start a lawsuit, you begin by filing a claim against your employer. The case then proceeds to discovery, where each side collects evidence.
  • What to Expect During the Process: Expect a series of negotiations and, possibly, court appearances. While some cases resolve quickly, others can take months or even years.
  • Documenting Evidence: Keeping a record of emails, texts, witness testimonies, and your employment contract can make a significant difference in strengthening your case.

Potential Outcomes

The outcomes of a lawsuit can vary. You might receive financial compensation or reinstatement at your job. In some cases, your lawsuit might result in a policy change at your workplace.

Alternatives to Litigation

Legal action isn’t the only route. Alternatives include:

  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Settlement negotiations

These options can be quicker and less stressful than court proceedings.

Beyond the Lawsuit

Common Misconceptions

One common myth is that you’ll be blacklisted if you sue your employer. In reality, employers have legal obligations, and retaliation is generally unlawful.

The Role of Labour Unions

If you’re part of a union, it might offer support during disputes with your employer. This could include legal counsel or representation during negotiations.

Effects on Future Employment

A lawsuit can impact your future employment. However, potential employers are typically interested in your skills and experience, not your legal history.

How Rogers & Company Can Help

Support for Employees

When conflict arises, Rogers & Company is here to guide you. We combine our knowledge of employment law with a deep understanding of human rights issues. And with our unique travelling notary service, we bring our expertise right to your door.

Advice for Employers

We also offer assistance to employers. By ensuring robust employment contracts, effective conflict resolution, and adherence to laws, you can avoid many issues. At Rogers & Company, we’re here to guide you through this process, ensuring your workplace is fair and lawful.

The Importance of Legal Counsel

If you believe you’ve been wronged at work, it’s crucial to take the right steps. Start by consulting with an employment lawyer. Our team at Rogers & Company can help you understand the nuances of your case, guiding you through the complex legal landscape.

Charting Your Course with Rogers & Company

Navigating employment law can be challenging, whether you’re an employee or an employer. But with Rogers & Company at your side, you’ll have decades of experience guiding you. No need to tread water—we’re here to help you sail smoothly.

Have further questions or need personalized advice? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Rogers & Company Professional Corporation. We’re here to guide you through the complexities of Canadian employment law.

Take advantage of our ‘Free Advice Quick Call’ to uncover your options. Call Ethan Rogers at (905) 901 3685.


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